Sheffield University students go nuclear with US internships

Four engineering students from the University of Sheffield are travelling to the US to take up internships at NuScale Power’s nuclear test facilities.

Based in Corvallis, Oregon, the undergrads will learn about NuScale’s experimental work on small modular reactors (SMR), seen by some as a cheaper and more flexible alternative to mammoth nuclear developments such as Hinkley Point. The fully-funded internships will run from June to September, and are being run in conjunction with Oregon State University (OSU).

NuScale Power control room simulator (Credit: NuScale)
NuScale Power control room simulator (Credit: NuScale)

“Opening up our world class test facilities to Britain’s future nuclear engineers is an important part of the enduring partnership NuScale is forging with the UK energy sector,” said Tom Mundy, NuScale’s managing director for UK & Europe.

“With our design application being finalised for the regulator this year, these selected students will be contributing to our programme development activities in Corvallis at a crucial moment in our journey to bring this exciting new technology to market.”

According to NuScale, the students will gain hands-on experience in research needed for the future development of SMRs. This includes the application of lasers to analyse the performance of NuScale’s technology at its test facility.

The company has a collaboration agreement with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield. It has also been working on a commercial basis with the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory on fuel development, as it pushes the benefits of SMRs on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The prospects for careers in the UK nuclear industry are strong,” said Mundy. “We want to play a significant role in building the skills pipeline that’s going to be needed to manufacture and deploy our technology to keep the lights on in the UK and elsewhere.”